From 28 May to 1 June 2007, the Prosecution and the four Defence teams presented their closing arguments before Trial Chamber I in the case known as “Military I”. The case involves four former high ranking military officials: Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, former Directeur de Cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence; General Gratien Kabiligi, former Chief of Military Operations in the Rwandan Armed Forces; Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, former Commander of the Gisenyi Military Operational Sector; and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, former Commander of the Para-commando Battalion.
They are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Second Additional Protocol (war crimes). The Accused Nsengiyumva is additionally charged with incitement to commit genocide.
The Prosecutor asked the Chamber to find the Accused guilty on all counts. He submitted that the Accused were all men of immense power and authority at that time and that, individually and in their official capacities, they prepared, planned, ordered, directed, incited, encouraged, and approved the killing of innocent civilian Tutsi men, women and children, and others considered to be their accomplices. He noted that none of the Accused has ever accepted any responsibility for the crimes. The Prosecution seeks life sentences for the four Accused.
The Defence teams argued that the Prosecution had not proven the allegations against the Accused beyond a reasonable doubt, particularly as to conspiracy to commit genocide, and requested that each Accused be acquitted. They further argued that the Prosecution case had evolved during the trial and that it ultimately bore little resemblance to the initial Indictments against the Accused. In their view, this transformation of the case left the Defence constantly responding to new allegations and prejudiced their ability to respond to the Prosecution case.
The trial concludes after 408 trial days, during which time 242 witnesses have testified; 1,584 exhibits have been tendered into evidence; and more than 300 written judicial decisions have been issued.